Toyota has just announced the cornerstones of a comprehensive battery collaboration with Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). This includes not only a “stable” supply of CATL batteries for Toyota but also the development of new battery technologies and more.
After Toyota announced in June that it would enter into a series of collaborations to accelerate the development of electric cars and ensure the supply of battery cells, the Japanese company now agreed on a far-reaching deal with CATl. Apart from battery cell supply and development, the deal also foresees the improvement of product quality and the recycling of used batteries.
“To further promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles, CATL and Toyota agree that a stable supply of batteries is critical and that battery technology must be further developed and advanced,” Toyota declares in its press release. The two companies will apparently “set up joint systems and jointly take specific initiatives,” but have not yet announced concrete projects or models.
When Toyota published its list of future partners in June, CATL stood out. Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. is not only one of China’s most important battery producers; with a share of around 16 per cent, CATL became the market leader for electric car batteries worldwide in 2017. Now CATL and Toyota have signed the strategic partnership that was announced last month.
The Chinese government’s incentives for local car manufacturers to use batteries from local manufacturers have helped CATL’s rapid growth. Until recently, international carmakers were required to use Chinese made battery cells for their electric cars built in China, which allowed CATL has brought in more lucrative orders. VW, BMW, Daimler, Volvo, Nissan and Honda also purchase cells from CATL. Or as Toyota puts it in the current press release: “In recent years, as vehicle electrification has accelerated worldwide, the company has won recognition from many automobile manufacturers both in China and overseas.”
Toyota had set itself the goal of increasing sales of electrified vehicles to 5.5 million vehicles by 2025 – three times the value of 2018. 4.5 million of this figure was accounted for by hybrids and plug-in hybrids, the remainder by fuel cell cars and purely battery-electric cars. This will only be possible if Toyota has sufficient batteries available. Toyota has entered into several partnerships in recent months to avoid having to finance investments in future technologies alone.